How level boarding at our new vivastations will further enhance service efficiency

With level boarding, the vehicle will pull up to a raised platform. This greatly increases the time it takes for passengers to get on and off the vehicle making for a faster trip.

This is a rendering of a viva vehicle stopping at a new vivastation. With level boarding, the vehicle will pull up to a raised platform. This greatly decreases the time it takes for passengers to get on and off making for a faster trip.

Viva is already a highly efficient rapid transit service thanks to features such as our off-board fare collection system. It’s going to get even better. In addition to our new vivaNext rapidways – which will take our beautiful blue Viva vehicles out of mixed traffic and put them on dedicated centre lanes so they can safely speed past congested traffic – our new vivastations will feature level boarding.

What do I mean by level boarding? Simply that the platforms at our new vivastations will be raised so they are about the same height as the floor of our Viva vehicles. This, in turn, will speed up the boarding process by eliminating the need for riders to climb steps or lift objects, and for Viva drivers to lower ramps for easier accessibility.

Level boarding is already successfully used throughout the world by other BRT, LRT and subway systems to enhance service efficiency. It only made sense to make it a feature of our new vivastations so that we can get you where you want to go faster and easier, and like never before.

Can you think of other things that might make your rapid transit experience even better?

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7 Responses to “How level boarding at our new vivastations will further enhance service efficiency”

  1. Dalea:

    How about answering my question about level boarding as the bove doesn’t really work. I wasn’t asking about fare machines and solar panels. I asked a simple question:

    “How will the level boarding at the new VIVA Stations differ from what is currently in place at the current VIVA stations in place?”

    Please answer the question of how the new VIVA Stations LEVEL BOARDING will be different from the current VIVA Stations. The answer to my original question just doesn’t answer it.

    DaleA: Currently, when a Viva vehicle pulls up to a stop, the floor of the bus is higher than the sidewalk/platform you’re standing on. Therefore, riders must step up to get on the vehicle. This not only increases the time to board and get off, but it is even more time consuming for riders with buggies, strollers, canes and wheelchairs.
    Level boarding will be significantly different from what is currently in place because the platform will be raised to be at the same level as the floor of the bus. Riders will then be able to walk straight across to board or exit the vehicle – even with buggies, strollers, wheelchairs and so forth.
    Hope that clarifies it. :)

  2. Lynn says:

    Good to hear that you’re looking at new ticketing/validation machines! The existing ones were not designed for the Canadian climate! And the solar panels will help cut energy usage.

    I hope we will still be able to purchase multi-trip tickets/passes. I’d also like to see a 2 zone GTA pass; those of us in Newmarket/Aurora who go down to the city have to mess around with the pass plus zone upgrade tickets, which is a pain! Also, sell the GTA passes in the northern areas; last time I asked in Newmarket, I was told they weren’t available and I’d have to buy at Finch.

    It seems that the east/west commuters are well catered to, and the north/south often left behind when it comes to interesting stuff like Presto cards. Why is that?

    DaleA: It’s good to see you’re excited for the improvements that are coming. It is too early to say how fares will work when the rapidways and subway extensions are complete, but we are working on ways to make travelling around York Region and into other regions easier. The Prestocard is a plastic card that will be the same size as a credit card. You will tap it next to a reader and it will automatically deduct the lowest fare for your trip from your remaining balance. To learn more about this new system please go to prestocard.ca.

  3. Quick question: How will the level boarding at the new VIVA Stations differ from what is currently in place at the current VIVA stations in place?

    DaleA: Thanks for the comments above and sharing your concerns!
    We’re looking into various options with the possibility of new fare machines being in place on the vivastations when the rapidways are complete. We’re still exploring the options, but I can tell you that every new vivastation will have a new fare machine with many more options for paying, including Presto and credit/debit cards.
    Adding solar panels to stations has been something that we have also been discussing and we hope that new technology with the panels in the future will allow us to add some that form to the top of the canopy.
    We’re looking forward to level boarding because it makes it easier and faster for people to get on and off Viva. People with buggies, strollers, canes, wheelchairs and so forth can simply enter or exit the vehicle without delay or extra effort.

  4. Raffi says:

    That’s good. This is thinking ahead. Other ideas? Well, for starters, how about delivering on the original promise for free WiFi on all Viva buses? And what about those TV screens that have been blacked out for well over a year now? What happened to those services? I can only imagine those screens were not cheap, and at $3.25 for a OneRide ticket I think riders need to see some of these previously promised things being implemented in order to feel that these recent fare increases are justified.

    DaleA: Thanks for your comment. I’m pleased to say that the TV screens on Viva are about to be turned back on – within the next few months. The content and layout will be updated and improved from the original format introduced back in 2007. In addition, SMS technology will be introduced in 2010. Please note, Wi-Fi will not be offered at this time.

  5. Simon says:

    Level boarding is a nice touch. The light-rail stations in California’s Bay Area have raised platforms (well, most of them do) and it really does make boarding easier for everyone.

    Can’t wait for the rapidways and new vivastations to get here!

  6. Lynn says:

    While learning from the rest of the world, remember we have winters here. Example – outdoor ticket canceling machines jam regularly in bad weather cuz of tickets being damp. I’ve missed the bus more than once because of that.

    Design buses for North American-sized people. Riding Viva means jammed knees and briefcases under chins, most unpleasant for an hour-plus ride!

  7. ernie says:

    Making those ticking machines more reliable and quicker! When a viva bus comes you always see a line up at the validation station because one guys ticket isn’t going in, or isn’t coming out.

    Also majority of people who buy Viva Tickets at the stop are gonna be buying a One Fare ticket with coins. Why not put that as a “Quick Option”. Instead of going through the different layers of menus and choices, you click on that and put your money in.

    Finally… though I doubt this would ever happen cause it means actually putting in new machines. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of a coin slot you had a coin hole… just throw your coins in and the machine counts it, what’s left over comes out as change. No more fumbling with coins in winter mittens. Just some proposals.

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